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United States - European Commission Urban Freight Twinning Initiative: Compendium of Project Summaries, Volume II
Overview of 2018-2019 International Urban Freight Roundtables

Boston's Dedicated Freight Corridor

Boston's Conley Terminal is located in historic South Boston, adjacent to a dense urban neighborhood. The terminal is not served by rail, but does have nearby access to Interstates 90 and 93. The terminal produces more than 900 truck trips per day, which were generating noise, vibration, and congestion impacts on area residents and local city streets. To address this, the Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort) planned, acquired land, and constructed the Thomas J. Butler Freight Corridor and Memorial Park, a dedicated freight roadway to remove container traffic from neighborhood streets. The new Freight Corridor has removed all Conley container trucks from East First Street and Summer Street in South Boston. The Freight Corridor expanded on-terminal truck queuing areas, resolving community concerns over trucks queuing and idling near residences. The new roadway alignment also facilitates future plans to relocate the terminal's main gate facility and creating a spine for the terminal's underground electrical and telecommunications infrastructure. The project includes a 4.5-acre landscaped buffer park along East First Street. The park features a multi-use path, dog park, and interpretive panels as well as a 16-foot-tall noise wall that separates the park and the neighborhood from the trucking and container terminal activities to the north.

vehicles traveling along Boston's dedicated freight corridor
The dedicated freight corridor connecting the Port of Boston to I-93 opened in 2017.
Source: Massachusetts Port Authority.

Project Type

Metropolitan Plan.

Period of Performance

Ongoing since Fall 2017.

Project Site

Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Laura Gilmore
Senior Transportation Planner/Project Manager
Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 568-1083

Kevin McWeeney
Senior Transportation Planner/Project Manager
Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 568-5952

Topics Addressed

  • Air quality/environment.
  • Building/road design.
  • Economic development.
  • Land use interactions.
  • Last mile delivery.
  • Livability/quality of life.
  • Safety.

Key Outcomes

  • The freight corridor removed all Conley container trucks from local streets (East First Street and a portion of Summer Street) to a new, dedicated route.
  • Adds a state-of-the-art security facility, which will increase the safety of port operations.
  • Adds much needed green space with the 4.5 acre Thomas Butler Memorial park, which includes lighted paths for pedestrians and runners, bike racks, and a new enclosed dog park.
  • Separates the residential neighborhood and the container terminal with a noise wall.
  • Adds 95 on-street parking spaces along East First Street.

Stakeholder Involvement

A design advisory committee of local residents and elected officials collaborated with MassPort and its consultant design team over approximately 18 months to arrive at the design for the Butler Memorial Park. MassPort also consulted municipal, State, and Federal agencies during the project planning.

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